Worksheet 1:  Brief History of Church and State Relations in European History

Essential Questions:    What factors helped definethe nature of Church - State relations in Western Europe.  Whatdid the Church gain by the relationship and what did the State gain by the relationship? 

1. In the first five centuries of the Christian era, what was the main difficulty that the church had to face?


2. What did the Emperor Constantine consider his obligation toward the church?  What was his motivation?  How did Constantine “benefit” the church?  What function did he fulfill that the church was unable to perform for itself?


3. What internal mechanism/theory did the Church develop in order to respond to the threat of heresy?  Explain how it functioned?  Was it universally accepted?


4. What theory did Augustine of Hippo propose concerning the relationship of the church and state?  Who was his model ruler and model bishop?  What theory eventually evolved from Augustine’s proposals and when did the church embrace it?


5. What were the principal weaknesses and the strengthens of the Church between 500-700 AD.?  Why did the Church in the west develop differently from the Eastern Church?  Why did the pope form an alliance with the Franks in the 8th century and how was it mutually beneficial? 


6. How did Charlemagne aid the church and how did he “use” the church for political purposes?  How did the German kings “incorporate” churchmen into their administration and what advantages did it offer? When did western-caesaropapism reach its peak?


7. Why did monasticism evolve?  What were its strengths and weaknesses?  What problems were addressed by the Cluniac reforms and how did this strengthen papal prestige?  What did Churchmen consider the problem that had to be solved?


8. What was the investiture controversy and how was it resolved?  When did the medieval papacy reach its peak and what mechanisms did it use to achieve this end? Which class (social group) tended to be the natural allies of the pope?  Of the kings and emperors?


9 How did the political situation in Europe shift in the late middle ages and how did this undermine papal influence?   What internal crisis weakened the papacy during the later middle ages?


10. How did churchmen attempt to overcome the problem of authority during the crisis of the Great Western schism?  What role did secular rulers attempt to play? 



Identify the following terms:
Donatist controversy
City of God
Council of Nicaea
Iconoclast controversy
St. Benedict of Nursia
investiture controversy
Avignon papacy
Great Western Schism